Care Options for Adults with Special Needs

People with special needs have a wide range of requirements for assistance:  they may be fairly independent or almost fully dependent on others.  Their needs may be predominantly physical, they may be cognitive, or both. Depending on where you live and the nature of the disability, there may be a wide range of care options […]

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3 Tips for Traveling with Special Needs

The holidays are coming up fast, and many of us are making plans to visit family and friends who may be far away. Travel is already challenging enough, but when you or a family member have a special need, it can become much more complicated. Doing the right research, planning, and preparations ahead of time […]

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Employment for Adults with Special Needs

A job can be an exciting way to learn new things, meet people, and make a contribution to the world. This is just as true for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as it is for everyone else. Students with disabilities often are not prepared to become a part of the work force. Therefore, adults […]

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How an Elder Law Attorney Helps Special Needs Individuals and Families

The term “elder law” is not intuitively associated with planning for special needs.  Often individuals with special needs and caregiving family members are far from “elderly.”  So why should an individual with special needs or the parents or guardians of that person seek help from an elder law attorney? Elder law is a practice area […]

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The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

Special needs trusts are powerful tools for individuals with disabilities to pay for the quality of life they desire.  However, there is a flaw in current special needs trust law which prevents people with special needs from establishing their own special needs trusts, often referred to as “d4A” trusts.  Only a parent, grandparent, conservator, or […]

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What is a Third Party Special Needs Trust?

A third party Special Needs Trust (SNT) is a trust established by one person for the benefit of another person who has a disability. The assets that fund the trust belong to someone other than the person with a disability. That is why we call it a “third party” SNT. The purpose of the SNT […]

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Understanding Special Needs Trusts and Pending Legislation

In the March edition of Elder Counselor we offered several tips for special needs planning. Establishing a Special Needs Trust (SNT) is among the many planning strategies that can help to improve an individual’s quality of life. Because individuals with special needs face many quality-of-life and care challenges, and addressing those issues can be expensive, […]

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Practical Tips for Special Needs Planning

In honor of “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month,” proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in March 1987, this month’s issue of ElderCounselor examines the unique planning requirements of families who have loved ones with special needs. Understanding the pitfalls associated with special needs planning is a must for all who assist families with children, grandchildren, or other […]

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October is Special Needs Law Month

This October, Elder Law of East Tennessee is joining Elder Law attorneys nationwide in recognizing National Special Needs Law Month. Unlike traditional lawyers, Special Needs Law attorneys focus on the issues that affect a particular segment of the population – generally the elderly and disabled – rather than a particular area of law. When clients […]

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New IRS Rule: Tax Deduction for Special Education Tuition

As all parents with special needs children know, addressing a child’s physical and learning disabilities can be a huge financial burden. Educating these children so that they are able to achieve the maximum level of independence is both difficult and costly. Previously the IRS had allowed parents of special needs children to deduct the cost […]

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